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The Russ Report: Ice Rebs vs TNH Series Preview

By Russ Eddins

Journalism Student

The Ice Rebs three-week gap between games has finally come to an end.

They play at Tennessee tonight at 8:15 p.m. and tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. Tennessee Hockey will stream both games on their YouTube channel.

Ole Miss hockey is currently 3-6-1 with an -8 goal differential. They have 6 points (CHS teams can only get points against division opponents). They are in 13th place in CHS D2.

The Ice Rebs are definitely better than their record and goal differential indicate. The 14th-place team in the league is 3-11 with a -29 goal differential. The team just ahead of the Rebs is 3-8. They also have a -29 goal differential.

Ole Miss has played fewer games than the other teams in their division. They are the only team in CHS D2 that has yet to play double-digit games this season. Eventually, they will catch up to the other D2 teams in games.

Tennessee is 5-5. They have 11 points, are 8th in CHS D2, and have a 12-goal differential. The Vols have only played CHS opponents this year. Head coach of the Ice Rebs, Josh Herbert, described the Vols as a disciplined, consistent program.

When asked what this series means for Ole Miss, Herbert gave his usual “this is another stepping stone to the end goal” response. However, with this series being the first of three straight against divisional opponents, the Ice Rebs need a good series to get them rolling.

The Rebs are ready for this series. They have had three straight solid practices.

Regarding the mood in the locker room right now, Herbert said, “going into this weekend…it’s almost a revived typed feeling after Southern Illinois.”

  • Keys For Ole Miss
  • Coach Herbert’s biggest key for his team this weekend is for them to play their “game plan for all three periods.”
  • Playing a full 60-minute game has been one of the Ice Reb’s most significant problems this season. They will need to fix that in this series.
  • They also need to make better decisions in the neutral zone. Rebel skaters often try to get too fancy in the neutral zone; they need to take better care of the puck when transitioning from zone to zone.

Players to Watch For

Tennessee has a few high-scoring players. Here are two that will impact this weekend’s
series:

  • Connor Frazer is a center. He has racked up 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points in 10 games.
  • Mitchell Spranklin is also a center. He has two goals and ten assists for 12 points in nine games.
  • Michael O’Malley has been the Rebs’ best player this season. He has 10 goals and three assists for 13 points in eight games.
  • Jake Keller and Cooper Fox are also notable skaters for the Rebs.
  • Ian Selissen is a rebel defenseman who will have a major impact on this series. He has a great hockey IQ, quarterbacks the top power-play unit, and always knows what to do with the puck.

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